Calendula officinalis is a short-lived aromatic herbaceous perennial, growing to 80 cm (31 in) tall, with sparsely branched lax or erect stems. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate, 5-17 cm (2-7 in) long, hairy on both sides, and with margins entire or occasionally waved or weakly toothed. The inflorescences are yellow, comprising a thick capitulum or flowerhead 4-7 cm diameter surrounded by two rows of hairy bracts; in the wild plant they have a single ring of ray florets surrounding the central disc florets. The disc florets are tubular and hermaphrodite, and generally of a more intense orange-yellow colour than the female, tridentate, peripheral ray florets. The flowers may appear all year long where conditions are suitable. The fruit is a thorny curved achene.

Common Name:
Other Names:
Common Marigold, English Marigold, Garden Marigold, Holigold, Marigold, Marybud, Marygold, Pot Marigold, Ruddles, Scottish Marigold
C. officinalis
Native Location:
It is probably native to southernEurope, though its long history of cultivation makes its precise origin unknown, and it may possibly be of garden origin. It is also widely naturalised further north in Europe (north to southern England) and elsewhere in warmtemperate regions of the world.
80 cm (31 in)
5-17cm (2-7in)
The Ancient Romans named calendula after the Latin calends, which means "first day of the month", because the plant appeared to bloom always on that day. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans used calendula as an ornamental plant and to flavor and color their food and drink—a practice that continues to this day. Early Egyptians made a restorative tonic from the plant's bright, orange-yellow flowers—which they also used as a dye and for cosmetic purposes. East Indian Hindus believed that calendula symbolized good health, longevity, and immortality; they planted the herb around temples and shrines and offered it up to their gods. Early Christians also revered calendula as a sacred plant, symbolic of holiness and loyalty. They believed that it was the Virgin Mary's favorite flower, an association that accounts for the plant's many common names that incorporate "Mary". By the Middle Ages, calendula's wound-healing properties were well-known, and the herb was subsequently used to treat gangrene and battle wounds up through the American Civil War.
A double-flowered cultivar,Calendula officinalis is widely cultivated and can be grown easily in sunny locations in most kinds of soils. Although perennial, it is commonly treated as an annual, particularly in colder regions where its winter survival is poor and in hot summer locations where it also does not survive. Calendulas are considered by many gardening experts as among the easiest and most versatile flowers to grow in a garden, especially because they tolerate most soils. In temperate climates, seeds are sown in spring for blooms that last throughout the summer and well into the fall. In areas of limited winter freezing, seeds are sown in autumn for winter color. Plants will wither in subtropical summer. Seeds will germinate freely in sunny or half-sunny locations, but plants do best if planted in sunny locations with rich, well-drained soil. Pot marigolds typically bloom quickly from seed (in under two months) in bright yellows, golds, and oranges.
Seeds Leaves are spirally arranged, 5-18 cm long, simple, and slightly hairy. The flower heads range from pastel yellow to deep orange, and are 3-7 cm across, with both ray florets and disc florets. Most cultivars have a spicy aroma. It is recommended to deadhead (removal of dying flower heads) the plants regularly to maintain even blossom production.
Pot marigold florets are edible. They are often used to add color to salads or added to dishes as a garnish and in lieu of saffron. The leaves are edible but are often not palatable. They have a history of use as a potherb and in salads.Flowers were used in ancient Greek, Roman, Middle Eastern, and Indian cultures as a medicinal herb as well as a dye for fabrics, foods, and cosmetics. Many of these uses persist today. They are also used to make oil that protects the skin.
Parts Used:
Flowers (medicinally); fresh leaves (in salads and other dishes).
Medicinal Use:
Today, calendula is still used to treat wounds—in fact, it is one of the best of the herbal vulneraries (wound-healers). It additionally has antiseptic, antifungal, antispasmodic, and fever-reducing properties, and stimulates the gall bladder, liver, and uterus. It is taken internally for cramping stomach pain, colitis, diarrhea, fevers, gastritis, inflamed lymph nodes, and ulcers. Externally, calendula is used in creams, salves, and compresses to treat abscesses, athlete's foot, boils, bruises, earaches, eczema, herpes, thrust, skin infections, sprained muscles, and warts.
The petals and pollen of Calendula officinalis contain triterpenoid esters and the carotenoids flavoxanthin and auroxanthin (antioxidants and the source of the yellow-orange coloration). The leaves and stems contain other carotenoids, mostly lutein (80%), zeaxanthin (5%), and beta-carotene. Plant extracts are also widely used by cosmetics, presumably due to presence of compounds such as saponins, resins, and essential oils.[8] The flowers of Calendula officinalis contain flavonol glycosides, triterpene oligoglycosides, oleanane-type triterpene glycosides, saponins, and a sesquiterpene glucoside.
Plant pharmacological studies have suggested that Calendula extracts may have anti-viral, anti-genotoxic, and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro. In an in vitro assay, the methanol extract of C. officinalis exhibited antibacterial activity and both the methanol and the ethanol extracts showed antifungal activities. Along with horsetails (Equisetum arvense), pot marigold is one of the few plants which is considered astringent despite not being high in tannins.
Calendula is available as dried herb and in creams, oils, ointments, teas, and tinctures. To make a tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried herb, and steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain, and drink up to 1 cup a day, 1 to 2 teaspoons at a time, every two hours. The tea may also be used to make a compress.
Do not use during pregnancy.
The Sun
Magical Properties:
Health, Psychic Dreams, Comfort
This flowers name stems from the Latin calends, the word denoting the first day of each month (and the origin of the English calendar). It was so called because the yellow and orange flowers were said to be in bloom in every calends throughout the year in ancient Rome. I have called this flower by its name rather than the common misnomer, marigold, since the calendula is often confused with the Mexican flower Tagetes spp. There is a resemblence, but the two flowers have vastly different energies. This plant, prized in medicinal herbalism, also has magickal aromatherapy applications. The scent of this flower strengthens and maintains health. At one time in the past, fresh calendula blossoms were sniffed to sharpen the eyesight. This was probably pure sympathetic magick, for the flowers resemble eyes.Sniff the aroma of calendula at night just before going to bed to produce psychic dreams.For centuries, the blooms have been sniffed to comfort the weary and distressed.
The Modern Herbal Primer by Nancy Burke Copyright©2000 Yankee Publishing, Inc. pp.25-26